Hi everybody.

For most of us, we do most of our gardening outdoors where we can receive lots of fresh air and sunshine. Why not bring some of that same fresh air and sunshine inside? You can if you use live houseplants as decorative accents throughout your home. Using houseplants to decorate your home can liven up your living space dramatically and also as an added bonus, they can make your living space healthier!

Houseplants can have many uses in your home. Plants can add both color and diversity to your decor as well as adding the healthy benefit of being a live air filter. There are many plants to choose from, including herbs. You can grow herbs right on your kitchen windowsill and enjoy fresh flavor anytime just by pinching off a few leaves.

Another great category of indoor plants includes ivy and philodendrons. These lovely plants can be grown as is and kept trimmed or they can be trained to grow on almost any trellis or other structure for a remarkably relaxing effect. These plants are easy to care for and do not have many insect enemies. Mainly they require water, occasional fertilizer and lots of love.

If you prefer a more exotic look, indoor tropicals would probably be the key for you. Indoor tropicals can give your home the Florida cottage look that many of us try to re-create. There are many choices to be had including ficus, areca palms, rubber trees, marginatas and more. Most of these plants are easy to care for but will require a well-lit part of the house. Putting your house plants in a dark corner can often lead to leaf drop over n extended period of time. There is a solution for this, however. If you want to place plants in an area that is not well lit, buy two of the same plant you are going to use to decorate with. Put the second plant in a well-lit area such as your porch and swap the plants out about once a week or so. The rotation will help keep both plants looking fresh and vibrant.

Once you start your new indoor garden project, you will want to have all the tools necessary to maintain your plants. You will want to purchase a small watering can and many of these choices are decorative as well. They can add beauty as well as being functional. You will also want to purchase some water-soluble fertilizer and indoor plant insect spray for those occasional pest infestations.

Indoor gardening can truly be a rewarding experience and it is a great way to relax even if the weather outside does not want to cooperate. There are many other options over and beyond what we talked about here such as Lucky Bamboo, Bromeliads, Bonsai Plants and much more! All these options can add ambiance and character to any room.

Joe Zelenak has more than 30 years experience in gardening and landscape. Send e-mails to hometowngarden@gmail.com or visit his Web site www.hometowngarden.com.

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